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Friday, February 22, 2013

What It's Actually Like to be a Peer Advisor: A Tell All from the Current CAS Peer Advisors

Now that the applications have been distributed and information sessions are underway for the hiring of the 2013-2014 CAS Peer Advisors, we thought we'd tell you what it's really like to be a peer advisor firsthand. Check out below to learn about why each peer advisor chose the position and what the experience has been for them so far! The next and final info session will be held on Friday, March 1st from 12:00-1:00PM in the Battelle History Lounge (Battelle 130) and applications are due Thursday, March 7th. For more information feel free to contact us at CASPeerAdvisors@american.edu or stop by and see us in Battelle 164!

Meg Fischer
First, I love scheduling. I think I am one of the few students who love looking at all the course options and how I can fit everything I want to do in one schedule.

There are many reasons to love peer advising. I think that working with students and being able to answer questions and find answers is a helpful skill regardless of what you study. I can tell when a student has more questions or wants to continue talking. I think that the peer advising program is important to bridge the gap between administration and the student to making an enjoyable transition to college.

I think the most important aspect of a peer advisor would be to be personable. A lot of times, students will come to appointments thinking that they have to be formal. If they understand that you are a student too who can connect them with resources, students frequently open up and talk about what they are thinking. That gives a lot of options for how a peer advisor can best help a student.

Triana Tello Gerez
I decided to become a Peer Advisor at the end of my sophomore year when I was starting to figure out what I wanted to major in and what I wanted to do with the rest of my college career. My first years at AU I had many different majors, and while I had plans for all of them, I was also very confused. 

I have to say that, while aggravating at times, those three semesters of major exploration were quite fun and rewarding. So, when the opportunity of being a Peer Advisor came up, I took it hoping that I would be able to help students have rewarding and fun exploration experiences rather than stressful ones. I thought, "Meeting people and helping them explore their interests? That sounds like a fun job!" And it has proven to be so.

This is my second year peer advising and I have to say that this job has exceeded my expectations. I have learned a lot about being an effective communicator, I've had fun at my job every day, and I get to work with a really cool team.

Shanice Harris
“Shanice, you act just like a mother” is a statement that I honestly get tired of hearing, yet it describes my attitude and character so well. For as long as I know, I’ve always had the desire to counsel, guide, and help others in any way possible. Having said that, it’s not too difficult to guess why I was super excited to apply for a CAS Peer Advising position, right?

Becoming a CAS Peer Advisor is one of my biggest achievements to date. It has not only allowed me to help others transition well into their first year in college, but has also enabled me to build relationships with my fellow peers. Conversing and interacting with my peers everyday just solidifies my decision to accept my role as a peer advisor. Apply to become a 2013-2014 CAS Peer Advisor & believe me, you won’t regret it!

Sofie Friedman
I actually applied to be a Peer Advisor while I was abroad studying in Dublin, Ireland. At first, I had no idea what to expect but thought that it could be a good experience for my final year at AU. I thought that I had learned a lot about surviving college, specifically because I was majorly undecided for the first two entire years of my college career. Finally knowing what I wanted to pursue, I felt that it would be really enjoyable helping out freshmen who were going through the same exact process I went through. Understanding what it was like to be in their shoes I thought this job was a really cool experience to share what I had felt throughout my first few semesters.

This job has proven to be a highlight of my last year here at AU. The academic advisors are a joy to work with and the position teaches you so much about how to listen, communicate, and advise on every topic from homesickness to failing classes. The skills you learn through this job are priceless and the fact that you gain them in such a fun, laidback environment is definitely one of the aspects I've grown to love about this job!

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